(Updated) City staff sent the following e-mail message to interested parties today indicating that the development permit application for a controversial project at 1401 Comox has been approved, with conditions (1401 Comox – Approval with Conditions Letter) – the rezoning for the project was approved by Vision Vancouver Council members on June 27, 2012. Slightly more than three years to the day after City Council approved the creation of the Short Term Incentives for Rental (STIR) programme, with the former Director of Planning (Brent Toderian) fired and not yet replaced, the City’s Acting Director of Planning approved the application for the 22-storey tower with a Floor Space Ratio of 7.19 at 1401 Comox Street. The STIR program, which made this fast-tracked, concurrent rezoning and development application possible, was adopted with no public input, and allowed Westbank Projects Corp and Peterson Investment Group to get nearly a 400% increase in permitted height and nearly 500% increase in floor space on the site of the former St. John’s Church. During Council debate in June 2009, Councillor Geoff Meggs famously stated of that the 2008 election that “the consultation was the election and this is the delivery.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKP-WbTMEac
(See article Short-term rental-unit incentives draw fire from critics, Georgia Straight, June 25,2009, and note that he is currently aiming to win a seat in an upcoming NDP nomination bid). Other Vision councillors, including Tim Stevenson, got elected on respecting community wishes, but words and actions have been dramatically different (hear Mayor Robertson in 2010 and Clr Stevenson’s promises in 2008 http://youtu.be/mzGvq8_xy9w). City Council and staff, including the head of the City’s legal department, have failed to respond to WEN correspondence about the possible illegality of the STIR program and have not even acknowledged repeated requests for confirmation of receipt.
The Planning Department originally expected this rezoning to be considered by Council the spring of 2010, but a strong pushback from the community delayed it until June 2012. Nevertheless, apart from cosmetic changes, the application as approved is virtually the same as the day the neighbourhood first discovered the large yellow rezoning sign on the street corner. Text of the City e-mail follows.
From: Development Services, City of Vancouver
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 1:30 PM
Subject: 1401 Comox – DE413347 Concurrent Rezoning and Development Application
Dear Sir &/or Madam:
I am following up to those who responded to Karen Hoese’s notifications of April 6, 2010, July 14, 2010 and January 24, 2012 in regards to the above Concurrent Rezoning / Development application to construct a 22 storey market rental residential tower over 2 levels of underground parking.
As an interested party, you are advised that the Rezoning for this site has been approved by Council at Public Hearing on June 27, 2012 and the Development Permit application has been approved by the Director of Planning on July 9, 2012, subject to a number of conditions. A Development Permit will be issued, once the applicant has fully satisfied all of these conditions.
Further information regarding the minutes of the Public Hearing can be view by clicking on the link: http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20120611/documents/phea20120611min_000.pdf
Approval with Conditions letter: see attached document
Please contact Mandy So, Project Facilitator directly at 604.871.6080 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions or comments.
City of Vancouver